Snapping the perfect Instagram food photo

We chatted to the team at Gourmand & Gourmet about how to take the perfect Instagram food photo.

When it comes to taking the perfect food photo, one that will have every one of your followers drooling and the likes filling up your feed, you don’t have to have a whizzbang camera with more settings than you know what to do with and a fancy flash. It helps, sure, but unless you’re shooting for a magazine spread, you can get the right shot with just your phone and a little bit of know how.

Here at the G&G, we’re more about eating, less about spending time fiddling with settings and letting our food go cold while we try to work out what aperture will work best. So we’ve developed a pretty sure fire strategy for taking that jaw-dropping photo, the one that makes people stop and say ‘Holy fork!,’ without too much fuss – just a few tips that will up your Instagram game and maybe even win you the Wintergarden’s tasty competition!

1. Set the scene
It’s important to know what’s in the frame before you point and click. Pick a good-looking dish to order (we love bolognaise, but it’s not the most flattering to shoot) and make some attempts at arranging it. Spin the plate around, add some stylish cutlery, throw in a side dish, primp those lettuce leaves – small efforts can make a big difference in your photo. Make sure you shift away anything in the background that might distract the eye (your wallet and keys don’t exactly scream ‘scrumptious!’).

2. Use colour
Try to pick foods that have a lot of colour in them. Nothing will make Instagrammers drool more than a bright pop of sauce on your dumplings, or even a daring raspberry glaze on your morning doughnut (ok, now we’re drooling). Pick dishes that are bright, or have good light-and-dark colour contrasts, for photos that’ll catch the eye and rumble the stomach. If your meal is a bit low on colour, try creating a vibrant flat lay on a colourful surface.

3. Play with light
Nothing can wreck a food photo faster than switching on your phone’s flash. Usually, it’ll result in unflattering and poorly-coloured pictures, so steer clear. Instead, try to use natural light, or even bright artificial light, when you’re shooting – and be careful not to create shadows with your phone as you try to find the perfect angle. If your photo’s still looking a bit dark, up the brightness setting in Instagram, or use a bright filter.

4. Change the angle
Forget about whether the people at the next table will think it’s weird: your photo will look so much better if you move around! Stand up, lean over, hook your arm around the table – the best way to figure out which photos look good is to play with the shot! Take your photo from different angles to capture different light or highlight other elements of the dish.

5. Ditch the filters
Guys, Valencia is so 2013. Take your finger off the filter button and move it over to that little spanner instead. Yep, that’s the one. In there, you can brighten your image, ramp up the saturation if your fluorescent lighting washed out the colour on your Vietnamese salad and tone down the warmth if you were shooting under yellow light. It’s a whole new world of much more natural looking photos.

Remember, there’s only one real way to take the perfect shot: get out there and start eating! Uh, we mean taking photos.

Don’t forget to enter our Instagram competition by snapping a photo of your lunch or dinner when you visit Wintergarden and posting it on Instagram with the following tags @wintergaredenbrisbane and #wintergardenfoodie

The Gourmand & Gourmet is a tale of two characters.  The gourmand, a person who takes great pleasure in food; a person given to excess in the consumption of food and drink, and the gourmet, an individual with a highly refined and discerning palate.  They are real individuals with a real love of food, dedicated to eating their way through Brisbane’s food scene and you’ll find them here.